Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Standing in her the way, the past few weeks, Bernie Sanders picked up momentum too late. Over that time, he made it interesting and painted in my mind three things Hillary can do to unify the Dems and win big in November.
First, put Bernie on the ticket. What, you’re asking? I know conventional wisdom says, pick a young, charismatic person from a swing state for Vice President and to make it more appealing a Latino right? Not this year.
Everything about this campaign season is different. Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee is an outsider pushing the buttons of racial and religious divide. How can that be successful in 2016? I don’t know everything. I mean how does a guy who has poked at women, demeaned Mexicans and attack Muslim judges gain points in the polls? Everything is different.
Conventional wisdom doesn’t work. Not this year. Instead of intellectually explaining your message, you have to dumb it down. The message is clear, do the opposite of whatever seems normal.
Pick Sanders as your VP. He’s old, not young. Jewish not Christian. A known commodity and household name, doing something most politicians are afraid to do, tell the truth. And his campaign is a movement, not unlike Obama’s eight years ago!
Another reason to pick him? Hillary won’t be able to hang with Trump. And she shouldn’t have to. He’s out of her league. She’s won a Senate campaign and lost a Presidential. Guess where she’s been most successful? Staying out of the fray and allowing Bill to be out front. Now she’s the lead horse and has to stay out of the fray because it is where she is best. The challenge is, she has to lead the conversation not be guided by it.
If she’s going to win, she needs to bring excitement to the campaign. She doesn’t have the luxury of introducing someone new to the American people. She needs someone the voters know. Someone who can bang with Trump, while she remains above the fray and does two things. #FeelTheBern
Take off the pants suit sometime on the campaign trail and let us know your story. Some friends, who are still undecided, ask why does she wear those suits? It’s her armor. Meeting her for the first time last year in Iowa, I was taken by how short she is. Everything from her handshake, smile and eyes tell you, she’s not short. She’s confident and fearless. And she’s human. All the mudslinging she’s been exposed to the past forty years would make many men retreat from the public eye, but she’s not shying away. She’s right there front and center where you want your President to be.
Another question I hear is, if not Hillary, what type of woman will it take to get elected? What is a woman supposed to look and act like to get elected? I believe they should look like themselves. A woman should not have to conform. The public made this Hillary appear resilient, because she is. But what is the road she traveled to get here? Let’s take a glimpse before the pants suit at who she has been.
PART II tomorrow Hillary, Shattering The Glass Ceiling!
About the author:
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR), founder of Party Politics US and Associate Producer on The Framing of OJ Simpson. Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Atiba Madyun on Facebook.